After the lazy haze of summer, and probably one too many day drinking sessions, autumn is often the feared season that brings us back to reality. September is the start of the school year, and October marks the beginning of the cold weather to come. But it’s not quite time to dive under the duvet just yet! There are still some incredible things to do in autumn in Manchester.
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Like the trees, the city transforms during autumn. Festivals like Manchester Literature Festival, Festejar, and Oktoberfest make things colourful and vibrant. Food features prominently in Manchester’s autumnal programme, where it’s perfectly fine to indulge in this season’s culinary delights of pumpkins, pies and parsnips. Oh and beer, beer and more beer (it’s called a ‘summer’ body for a reason!).
But, if food fests still leave you hungry for more, autumn also marks two of the best holidays in your calendar. Halloween will take over Manchester’s squares and streets with costumes, a parade and creepy decorations. Shortly after, Bonfire Night will light up the city’s skies from a number of exciting firework displays around the city.
Autumn is also the most stunning time of year to wrap up warm and take a stroll outside. Luckily Manchester isn’t all skyscrapers and remnants of its industrial roots. There are plenty of leafy parks and gardens to enjoy the season of change in action. If muddy wellies and the sound of crunchy leaves don’t warm your heart, stay cosy with Manchester’s range of indoor activities.
In the build up to Christmas, there’s often great films coming out in cinema, while autumn also sparks a shake up in the city’s theatres. Manchester is home to so many spectacular locations, such as the Palace, Opera House and Lowry, hosting showstopping musicals, dramas and all sorts of entertainment.
Summer may be bidding farewell for another year, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Get inspired with our guide to things to do in Manchester this autumn.
Upcoming events in Manchester this autumn
Find more things to do this autumn with our monthly guides
- What’s on in Manchester in September
- What’s on in Manchester in October
- What’s on in Manchester in November
Festivals in Manchester this autumn
If you missed out on Manchester’s summer supply, don’t worry, as more festivals are on the way this autumn. There’s plenty on the programme for foodies so prepare for some epic feasts, but there’s also several that celebrate the performing arts, international culture, the latest advances in science and technology and much more. Take a look at the festivals coming up in autumn in Manchester here:
Curious about other festivals happening in Manchester? Find out about Manchester’s festivals here.
Halloween events in Manchester
Up north, we love to celebrate anything and everything. But when it comes to the witching hour, we go all out. Costumes, carvings, ghosts and ghouls, you name it! Autumn in Manchester becomes possessed by Halloween, as both local and city wide events take shape. Enjoy parades, ghost trains, children’s parties and much more…
Find more inspiration on what to do in Manchester on Halloween with our dedicated guide.
Bonfire Night events in Manchester
One of the most spectacular things to do in winter in Manchester is cosy up by a bonfire and watch fireworks displays. There’s nothing that makes you feel more like a child than being part of the ooing and aaahing crowd!
Find out which displays are taking place or check the Bonfire Night guide to Manchester for more.
Theatre in Manchester
With the change of season comes a change in Manchester’s theatre programme. It’s the perfect treat for those suffering with back to work or back to school blues. Take in a musical to lift your spirits, or find something more sombre for those poignant moments.
Love going to the theatre? Discover our Manchester theatre guide for more.
Things to do for families in autumn
Yes we all love conker collecting, but there’s only so many times this will keep the little ones entertained. Luckily autumn has lots of family-friendly events in Manchester for you and the kids to enjoy together!
Half term falls around the last week of October, meaning you’ll have plenty of spooky things to do with the kids!
For more things to do for families, check out our family events in Manchester guide.
Films to see this autumn
Thankfully, in the months before Christmas some of the most highly-anticipated films are released. Autumn is often referred to as ‘Oscar’ season too with lots of Academy Award bait going on. So for film lovers, the season is the perfect opportunity to head to to the cinema and start making your predictions.
Check out the new film releases for this autumn here.
Autumn walks in Manchester
During autumn, there are some truly spectacular places around Manchester to enjoy nature doing what it does best. Autumn is perhaps the most dazzling time of year to take a walk in the park, and countryside across Greater Manchester and Cheshire are picturesque to say the least.
Whether it’s gazing at wildlife or appreciating historic architecture of old halls and manors, you could spend the season in awe. With many of these fantastic places only a short drive from the city centre, it’s easy to discover a different park every weekend. So grab your coats and boots and head outside with one of these great autumn walks around Manchester.
Head over to Wigan Pier to go on leisurely strolls to Apple Bridge or Arley Hall, or go to explore the Etherow Country Park Woodland. The South Pennine Water trail would make for a lovely visit as long as the weather holds, or pace the Saddleworth Circuit.